Monday, 16 March 2009

How to Shop?

Without getting at all carried away, I do like to have a vague idea of what my cash is contributing towards when I make a fashion purchase (and I use the term fashion loosely to include everything from a fabulous granite-black trench coat for Spring to some good old cotton knickers). I confess that if I see something and fall in love with it, even if I don't know anything about the store's buying policies, I am probably going to get it anyway. But I like to at least try to ensure my buyer's remorse doesn't include any unnecessary guilt.

There are a number of schools of thought regarding ethical shopping approaches. One is, buy whatever you like wherever you like and then make sure you do your research and voice your concerns, with the added credence of being a customer, to the company. Another is obviously being very careful about where you shop and use one of the many 'ethical' stores which are now available, predominantly online. I don't have strong views on which is better. I know that for me it is, in all honesty, a question of cost most of the time. If I could afford to, I would love to order more from ethical retailers online but often this is an expensive route.

Some of my favourites are:

"The way to help workers is not to boycott one company in favour of another; it's to shift from being a passive consumer to an active one." - Clean up Fashion

If you are hitting the highstreet though, which I frequently do, then an excellent source of information is Clean up Fashion where you can find info on various well-known retailers regarding how they treat the people making the clothes we wear and some practical advice on becoming an active consumer. Have a look and then make your own decisions on where and how to shop.


  1. Hey Lies, I find your blog interesting, thanks for sharing it with me, it shows a different side to London. You'd be happy to know I am the Site Environmental Officer at my work, which means it is my job to make the place more enviro friendly! I think the seed was planted from when we lived together in London and us ladies started started recycling! And yes you have always had too much stuff but that is why we love you and why your bedroom was such a treasure trove!

  2. Cool! It was Green Office Week in London 2 weeks ago actually, check out the website:
    They have a lot of useful ideas/tips etc :)